Ticks are a nuisance to your pet just like mosquitoes and fleas. However, ticks can do some serious damage if you don’t take them out immediately or keep your pet from getting ticks. Ticks are tiny critters that stick to your pet’s skin and suck their blood, which causes them to double their size. The more blood they suck, the bigger they get. I hate ticks so I keep an eye on my dog to make sure she doesn’t come across any ticks that have stuck to her.
Keep Your Yard Free of Ticks
Pets can get ticks from roaming around areas with high grass, weeds, and bushes. One way to keep the ticks away from your pet is to make sure you keep your yard free from high grass and weeds where ticks congregate. Keep the grass and weeds at ankle level that way the ticks are not able to leap onto your pet very easily.
Keeping your yard free of other rodents like mice can also prevent ticks from getting on your pets. Ticks attach to yard rodents so the less likely your yard attracts rodents the least likely you will have ticks creeping around. You can use a product called Damminix to kill ticks and fleas that mice attract. Damminix kills the ticks and fleas but not the mice. However, if you are like me you may not be too fond of mice either and would want to kill the mice.
Check for Ticks after Walks and Hikes
If you are taking your pet for a nice walk through the woods or heavy wooded areas make sure they don’t wander off, keep your pet close to you instead of letting them wander into unknown territory. I know pets love to sniff around in heavy wooded areas and high grass but it increases their chances of getting ticks.
Before you take a walk with your pet, be sure to spray or powder their coat with anti-tick sprays or powders. For dogs, you can use certain insecticides but make sure you contact your vet before you spray or powder your dog. For cats, be very careful using insecticides and ask your vet what works best. Products and doses differ for cats and dogs, what’s safe for dogs may be dangerous for cats and vice versa.
After the walk or after your pet has been roaming through heavy grass and weeds, make sure you give them a complete check over. Ticks can be easily hidden by your pet’s hair, especially if your pet has long hair. Brush their hair slowly, look behind and inside of their ears, and on their tails.
If you spot a tick, remove it immediately. If the tick has not attached to your pet’s skin, comb it out with a fine-tooth comb.
If the tick has attached to the skin, get some fine tip tweezers and gently pull the tick out by grasping as close to the head as possible and lifting away from your pet. Make sure you get a good firm hold on the tick, including their head and legs.
You want to make sure you get all of the tick out of your pet’s skin, especially the head, if not, the tick continues to live off of your pet. After removing the tick, kill it. Don’t throw it in the trash. Squash it or pour rubbing alcohol or insecticide on it to kill it.
Remember, ticks carry Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain fever. Just taking a tick and throwing it away doesn’t kill it and they will come back. Once you have removed and killed the tick, you can rub an antiseptic or an antibiotic ointment on the area of your pet’s skin where the tick was located to help soothe the area.